Politics

Republicans Are Dropping Election-Related Lawsuits As Trump’s Legal Blitz Fizzles Out

“Trump’s legal path to overturn the election results appears 100 percent dead,” election law expert Rick Hasen wrote Monday. The president has now enlisted Rudy Giuliani to lead the "effort."

President Donald Trump walks up to speak about Operation Warp Speed in the Rose Garden at the White House on November 13, 2020 in Washington, DC. This was the first time President Trump spoke since election night, as COVID-19 infections surge in the United States. | Getty Images
President Donald Trump walks up to speak about Operation Warp Speed in the Rose Garden at the White House on November 13, 2020 in Washington, DC. This was the first time President Trump spoke since election night, as COVID-19 infections surge in the United States. | Getty Images

President Donald Trump’s legal strategy for fighting or undercutting legitimate election results has continued to fall apart, and likely reached a point of no return.

On Monday morning, plaintiffs withdrew four federal lawsuits filed in four different states that sought to stop the vote count certification over alleged “election improprieties,” according to The New York Times.

Trump and his allies are now 1-24 in court for legal challenges filed since election results came in showing the incumbent president lost to President-elect Joe Biden, according to voting rights lawyer Marc Elias. The plaintiffs have baselessly alleged voter fraud, lied about observers being kept from poll sites, and judges in multiple states have thrown out the cases for flimsy or no evidence over and over again. 

Conservative lawyer and former Republican National Committee official James Bopp, Jr. oversaw all four cases that were dropped Monday, initially filed in Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — four states that Biden flipped after Trump won them in 2016. The Times reported that Bopp “declined to comment on the suits” and that “the notices of dismissal were brief and perfunctory, giving no reasons for dropping the cases.”

Plaintiffs have withdrawn similar cases they’ve filed in the nearly two weeks since voting concluded, as the incumbent president has continued to make desperate last-ditch attempts to stop ballot counts or get certain ballots thrown out. 

Judges have taken some Trump campaign lawyers to task for the lack of evidence presented in these cases — and in Georgia, for example, dismissed them on that basis on November 5. A federal judge in Pennsylvania appointed by former President George W. Bush expressed frustration with campaign lawyers who admitted they didn’t have a substantive basis for their suit. “I’m sorry, then what’s your problem?” said U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond, according to the local PBS outlet.

Some law firms have resigned their involvement in similar Trump campaign lawsuits in Pennsylvania and Arizona, while Jones Day, a firm that has faced a lot of criticism over these suits, recently said it will not get involved in any more cases.

Elias, the founder of progressive advocacy group Democracy Docket, has been keeping track of and fighting most of these cases in some capacity himself. The one “win” he has given Trump and his allies in the 1 win-24 losses tally is a Pennsylvania court ruling that didn’t amount to much: “a hundred ballots or so that haven't been counted, still won't be counted,” he summarized in a tweet.

It all adds up to the fact that “Trump’s legal path to overturn the election results appears 100 percent dead,” as election law analyst and professor Rick Hasen wrote Monday.

“It’s over. Trump may still say he has won the election. But there is no path,” Hasen wrote. “Even the two key federal cases in Pennsylvania do not involve nearly enough votes to overturn the results there even if they were successful (and I don’t expect them to be). … Rudy Giuliani can say what he wants and the President can keep declaring that he’s won, but there’s no plausible legal way this election gets overturned.”

The latest dropped cases came a few days after President-elect Biden was officially declared the winner in Georgia. On November 13, networks projected that Biden won Georgia, while Trump won North Carolina, making the final electoral college tally 306 for Biden to 232 for Trump — the exact inverse of four years ago, when Trump won 306 to Hillary Clinton’s 232. The president has spent the last four years calling that margin “a massive landslide victory.”

Friday was also a “brutal” day in court for Trump, “as nine cases in key states were denied or dropped in one day,” CNN reported.

On Saturday, Trump said he was putting his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in charge of his post-election legal strategy, despite the fact that Giuliani’s most recent high-profile campaign event took place at a landscaping business in Philadelphia between an adult fantasy book store and a crematorium. Four Seasons Total Landscaping became a national meme, but it was not a successful legal event.

Here's Giuliani talking about counting ballots on Fox News Sunday:

The former New York City mayor's most recent memorable public appearance before that was a compromising scene in the sequel to “Borat.”